Recovering … here’s an update

My heart art kaleidoscope by Mary Kate Kopec

As you likely know, my family recently suffered the tragic loss of my nephew, and it has put us into a bit of a tailspin.  We’re all working through our grief and this difficult time, and we will get back on our feet, I’m sure.  For me, I’m slowly trying to get my creativity to kick back in.  So I’ve been dinking around with some stuff.  Some art stuff … not like I’m an artist or anything … I’m a certified scribbler of silliness … but it’s been good to just get color to move and make me see sunshine again.  So for you, I’m including my silliness for you to see. :0)

My heart art by Mary Kate Kopec

Favorite colors art by Mary Kate Kopec

I’ve also been thinking of new ways to get sales up again for Damn, Girl. That Sucks. while I’m getting back in gear for writing the new series.  So here’s something I’m working on.  It’s a first draft of a new sales description (book description) for DGTS.

It’s from Dan’s perspective in the vein of trying something new.  Tell me what you think … honestly.  If it sucks, please say so.  We need more sales … not a doofy new description. LOL.  Okay … here goes:

Harley-riding, Chester-Hope-House managing Dan Davies has a thing for long rides, sunny days, good books, and Ivy Baines. He’s never been one to fall easily, but when he fell for Ivy, he fell hard. She’s smart, talented, funny, with a big heart, and to him, she is perfectly lovely. Doesn’t matter, though. He can’t have her. Not then. Not now. Not until she gets her life together and moves out. And it’s taking her forever.

His job—his position—has forced him to keep his distance.  It’s a line he can’t cross.  Won’t cross.  Until the night she comes home dressed in shame and demoralized defeat.  It’s been hell watching her spin her wheels, circling ever closer to the rabbit hole, struggling through life and from one loser to the next.  Clearly another one has bitten the dust, but not without ripping off a precious chunk of Ivy’s heart first.

Whatever happened, it’s taken her down a serious notch.  Something is really wrong, and she’s not talking.  She is, however, sobbing like the fallen into his chest.  It’s their first ever physical contact, and all Dan wants to do is wrap Ivy up and hold her tight.  To help her know what real love feels like.  That and kick the shit out of the asshole who has left her bruised, hurt, and tossed into despair.

That night, and that damn hug.  It required more restraint than he had, and now Ivy’s caught on.  She’s looking at him with hungry eyes, a biting lip, and nervous curiosity that has her skin flushed from head to toe.  It’s damn sexy, and the answer he’s wanted, for years.  But the timing sucks.  She’s not ready, and Dan doesn’t want to be the next loser in line.

If this goes south, it’s his job, his home, and the life he’s come to love.  And that’s a lot to lose, even for Ivy.  But from the moment his lips touch hers and she melts into him, it’s a risk he’s willing to take.  He’s never wanted anyone more.

Will Ivy be able to see him for who he really is?  And then still want him?  Love him.  Trust him, when all others have failed her before?

Will her life fall into place with him in it?  Before he loses everything—including his heart.

Well, so … that’s the proposed new book description for Amazon.  One of the things I love about it, overall, is that it’s a gift to the reader without them knowing it.  They get a direct insight into Dan’s perspective–something they don’t get in the book.  Plus, all the while, they are reading all that they need to know about Ivy to get started.  So I’m kinda feeling crafty.  LOL.  And I’m going to launch a new ad campaign, so I wanted something new/different that would captivate and catch new readers’ eyes.  Or maybe even convince someone who’s passed the book over before to maybe give it a try now.

Of course if I’ve learned anything … it’s that nothing I try works, so hey, what the hell?  Might as well see if this does.  LOL

So I’ll be tweaking it a bit more.  I’m just letting it percolate in my brain.  I find if I give a day or so, my brain comes up with new things that have the chance of cleaning it up a bit or making it better.

Art and Tempted Excerpt by Mary Kate Kopec

Wee bitty excerpt from Tempted. Eve is talking about Matt … clearly she’s in love. :0)

As to Tempted (book 1) and Bound (book 2) … my story keeps developing in my brain, even though I’m not writing all that much yet.  The complexity of emotions and situations–the story line–is growing, and it’s really feeling like a live thing in my head.  :0)  I’m so excited about it!  So I think I may try not letting myself get so bogged down in word choice this first go around.  I try hard to be perfect when I write and it slows production down.  It’s a character flaw in me … my drive to always be perfect.  But I’m thinking I might try just getting the story to page and then go back and do whatever rewriting I need and sprinkling.  Sort of like how it ended up happening with DGTS. The only problem with that … it was REALLY HARD doing the rewriting for DGTS. But also really rewarding.

This writing thing is motherfucking hard shit.  LOL.  Well, sometimes, anyway.  I think Earnest Hemingway said it best: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  Well said.  Well said, indeed.  And I guess if he can rewrite the ending to A Farewell to Arms 39 times, then I can suck it up and get it right with rewrites to a story penned to page to get it there and see it happening.  :0)

Anyways, back to Dan … I love all my heroes.  I write them the way I want them to be, so of course I do.  But Dan … the reason why I love him the most-est … is because he’s “so real”… in that, he’s not some dark and mysterious guy with a big gun and a skill set that in reality should scare the fuck out of a girlfriend for his needing to have it.  (Like if you really dated a SEAL … for fuck’s sake … Yes, he could take care of you in a hostile attack, but fuck … who would really want to experience a situation that required the skills of a Navy SEAL?  I mean, if I had to experience what I put my characters through, I’d motherfucking end up in PTSD therapy for life.  LOL.)  So the thing I love about Dan is that he’s just a good guy in love.  He’s not saving Ivy from killers with guns, but yet he still gets to be a friend and help, and that help is in its own way lifesaving.  He’s strong and caring and patient and funny and sexy.  And even though dark and mysterious guys are sexy sounding … if you sit around all quiet all the time, and you don’t know how to have fun or make me laugh … in the end, you can be as sexy as you want, but you’ll never be the guy for me.  And that’s why I love Dan … because he could truly be the guy for me.

He’s so dreamy.  :0)  But then again, as I said, I love all my heroes.  Do you have a favorite?  It doesn’t have to be Dan, but I’d love to hear who your favorite is … and why?  Insight is golden.  :0)

Hope you are having a freaking fabulous day filled with love and laughter … and hell yes! … an entire pan of chocolate cake!  :0)

Oh, yeah.  And tell me what you think of the new sales description … Love it?  Hate it?  Enh, whatever?  :0)

Tempted Update — Getting Up and Running

I lost a couple of weeks being seriously under the weather.  The being under the weather part sucked, but the upside is, breaks from my stories–whether intentional or not–tend to be quite helpful, because my brain keeps thinking and planning, studying the story, and thinking of ways to make it the best it can be.  And this time was no exception.  :0)

I actually started writing Tempted about a year and a half ago, with the initial series idea sprouting in my brain more than two years ago.  I spent some time developing the initial story idea, but I was in the middle of writing Love AND Revenge, so it was an idea that was going to have to wait.  And then when I finished Love AND Revenge, I was super excited to get started, so I hit the keyboard and began pounding out words to page.  It was fabulous, but then the world dropped out from underneath of Paul and I.

We found out after three hard years of trying to make New Hampshire work for us, such that we struggled through nine different builders and designing a multitude of house floor plans hoping to find something that worked … and finally getting a builder and a house underway, it was not meant to be.  Paul’s employer suddenly and quite unexpectedly packed up shop and relocated to Pennsylvania.  We had to drop everything and prepare to move.  Fast forward through 18 hard-assed months of packing and moving and getting resettled into a new home build … and getting Damn, Girl. That Sucks. out instead (it was supposed to be a quickie book to hold you over until I would have time to write a full series), and well … here I am.  Back to the new series, and the first book of it–Tempted.

Two years ago, I amassed 3 binders of notes and research for this new series, and when I wrote, I made it through the first chapter, including the inciting event that sets Eve on a massive course of self-destruction.  She is, after all, a wounded person with a bit of a hard road of her own to travel.

So now that I am sitting back down to her story, I first had to re-review all of my old notes.  Wow!  I’d done a lot of research and story boarding, which is a good thing.  It was way helpful to me getting going now.  But as I was talking about at the open of this blog post, stepping away oftentimes provides clarity … and I love clarity.  :0)

I’ve been working on the whole opening of this story.  What I’d written before was definitely promoting the suspense of it.  And that’s good.  And I’m going to keep with the suspense.  But in re-reading and analyzing, I realized that I could write a more emotional, moving, feeling, suck-you-really-in opener of a first chapter / inciting event.  And I’ve been planning that out and doing some reworking and rewriting, and I can tell you … my SQUEE-factor shot out the roof.  :0)  So … I’m loving it.  Which I hope means you will love it, too!

So, I wanted to take a quick minute to tell you a little bit more about Eve.  Eve Feray, that is.

I mentioned that she is a scientist, and she is.  She’s a neuroscientist dedicated to her work and an expert in her field studying the central nervous system.  It’s actually her expertise that will guide Ben, the super hard-ass, super smoldering homicide detective her way.

Eve is quiet.  A bit of recluse.  She owns her own home on a shared 150 acre family parcel of heavily wooded land about 50 minutes outside of Detroit, MI.  She owns half; her mom owns the other half.  Eve is a hard worker, dedicated to her research.  She is the P.I. (Principal Investigator) in her lab and has a number of researchers and support staff working under her in their private and grant funded research facility.

When Eve isn’t working late nights at her lab, she’s home reading or gardening.  Her list of friends is short, but includes her personal assistant, Bella, and her psychic, Jasmine.  And her mom.  She’s taking a chance on love, and Matt Stirling is the perfect object of her affection.

Next, I want to show you an inspiration pic for Eve, but first I have to tell you something I find a bit funny about me and finding inspiration pics.  I don’t have the inspiration pic of Maddie Monroe from Love AND Bullets and Love AND Revenge; it’s buried in a box of old research notes for those books–but it’s this early-on, pre-discovery pic of Miranda Kerr, the Victoria’s Secret Angel.  I found it in a JCPenney’s catalog, and she looked bubbly with these giant dimples and adorable face.  And I was totally all like, holy shit, this is so Maddie.  And then, years later, when Love AND Revenge was being released, I saw her (Miranda Kerr) walking the stage for a Victoria’s Secret TV special … and I freaked.  I called Paul to the TV and pointed, exclaiming, “Holy Shit!  Maddie’s an Angel!”  LOL.  Up until that point, I didn’t even know the JCP model’s name, and somehow–wonderfully for Miranda Kerr–she’d become an Angel.

So.  Once again, I’ve picked another inspiration pic of a relatively unknown person, and now, by the time I get to the books, she’s become A LOT more recognizable.  I picked this pic of Jaimie Alexander (Jaimie had played Lady Sif from Thor … and at that point, was mostly not paid much attention to … but I thought she was just beautiful.) … Well, now, of course, Jaimie Alexander has become Jane on Blindspot.  She’s the star of her own show.  LOL.  So … the good news is that should my series ever make it to movie … maybe Jaimie will want to assume the role of Eve.  :0)

And with that introduction, here is the pic of Jaimie that I feel really embodies the essence of Eve, post inciting incident.

Jaimie Alexander (Inspiration pic for Eve Feray)

Note, that for me, picking inspiration pics isn’t just about the physical attributes.  I also look for mood.  Like how I picked the pic of Charlie Hunnam for Dan in Damn, Girl. That Sucks.  No other pic of Charlie conveyed the mood of Dan.  The look of Dan.  In fact, while writing DGTS, I would look upon the pic of Charlie, and after a very short while, I didn’t see Charlie anymore … only Dan.  I’m guessing something similar will happen here with this pic of Jaimie.

The physical differences between Eve and Jaimie are that Eve has midnight blue eyes and a number of silvery streaks in her hair.

Well, I think that’s enough about Eve for now.  Next time, or very soon, I think I will show you Ben.  :0)

But for now, it’s time to write.  Eve is waiting for me to get more of her story to page.  And I imagine you are, too.  :0)

Hugs and Silliness and my heart filled with love!

Mary Kate  :0)